US ex rel. Steven May v. Purdue Pharma L.P., No. 12-2287 (4th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Relators filed suit under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729-33, against Purdue. The district court dismissed the action on res judicata grounds because it gave preclusive effect to the court's decision in United States ex rel. Radcliffe v. Purdue Pharma L.P. Although the court rejected relators' assertion that Radcliffe was a jurisdictional dismissal, the court nonetheless agreed that the district court erred by giving Radcliffe preclusive effect. Because the Release executed by Mark Radcliffe did not bar non-signatories from proceeding against Purdue, the judgment enforcing the Release could not bar such claims. Accordingly, the court erred by dismissing this action as barred by principles of res judicata. The court also concluded that the pre-2010 version of the Act's public disclosure bar, 31 U.S.C. 3730(e)(4), applied in this case. Because the district court has not made the factual findings necessary to determine whether the public-disclosure bar precluded this action, the court must remand to the district court for discovery and further proceedings.